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SSX

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SSX

Go grab SSX for free on Xbox Live if you're a gold member


Until the end of the month
Dec 17
// Chris Carter
Once upon a time EA rebooted the SSX series in 2012. You can grab that reboot now on the Xbox 360 for free, provided that you have an Xbox Live Gold account. It's not the best game in the series by any means, but it's st...
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Games with Gold

SSX, Worms Battlegrounds free with Xbox Live Gold in December


Also the first episode of The Raven
Nov 26
// Jordan Devore
November is almost over, which means more free-with-Xbox-Live-Gold games to look at and hopefully remember to download once they're actually available. Throughout December, Xbox One users with a paid subscription can nab Worm...

2012: Year of the Wingsuit

Dec 31 // Kyle MacGregor
Call of Duty: Black Ops II  Wingsuits are a pretty scary prospect in real life. Jumping off daring heights, gliding off into the wind is enough, but to look ridiculous doing it? It's a bit too much for me. Thankfully, Michael Rooker and his squad did it for me in Black Ops II -- all I had to do was press a few buttons. Although the wingsuits aren't really featured for more than a few minutes of the game, their addition added some excitement to the beginning of the campaign, and really drove home how diverse the gear and weaponry really is in 2025. Mark of the Ninja Like the Tenchu series, Mark of the Ninja has a number of items that may not be very ninja-y (strictly speaking), but provide a ton of fun for anyone who wants to utilize them. One of those items is the wingsuit, which lets you stalk your enemies with great care in the air. While a ninja game is probably the last game I'd expect to see a flying squirrel homage in, Mark of the Ninja is one of the many wingsuit-filled games of 2012. New Super Mario Bros. U While at first I lamented the lack of Cape Mario or the Tanooki Suit, I learned to love the Flying Squirrel Suit in New Super Mario Bros. U. Once you realized the nuanced play of clinging to walls, and bouncing off enemy heads to keep your glide going, things get really technical, and incredibly fun. I didn't truly learn to appreciate the Flying Squirrel Suit until I tackled the game's challenge modes, where I quickly had to acclimate myself to not overdoing it, and utilizing all of the enemies I could to keep my flight combo going. Although it isn't the best new addition to the Mario franchise, I really enjoyed my time with it this year. Far Cry 3 I thought Far Cry 2 was near perfect, but Ubisoft Montreal really strove to take everything up to eleven with the sequel. There are several additions and improvements that make the already winning formula even more enjoyable, but few manage to be more exhilarating than soaring over Far Cry 3's war-torn jungles in a wingsuit.  When Jason Brody's journey into this insane new world calls for him to head to a new island, he acquires this equipment to help him drop unseen behind enemy lines. After that memorable covert landing, the wingsuit can be used freely for a limitless number of exhilarating flights. And whether our intrepid protagonist is using it to sneak up on enemies or just indulging in a joyride, one thing is for sure: using Far Cry 3's wingsuit always makes for a good time. Journey Okay, so this one's not exactly a wingsuit per se, but it's close enough in our book. Journey's magical scarf does just about everything you'd expect a wingsuit to do and the flapping cloak doesn't look too far off the mark, either. Gliding plays an integral role in traversing Journey's glittering desert landscapes and also makes for some of the title's more memorable and cinematic moments. SSX In SSX, there are nine deadly descents that correspond to different environmental hazards that exist around the globe. There's a variety of specialist gear to help conquer these potential threats, but of them all the wingsuit is, far and away, my favorite. On certain slopes, there are large drops and wide gaps that make having a wingsuit an absolute necessity if you're looking to survive the run. However, given the choice I still take a wingsuit with me just about every time. While it might seem unintuitive, despite the webbing reducing speed, the enhanced level of control it offers in the air can help shave off precious seconds in a race. That and, like the rest of these games, it's also just a lot of fun to use in general. 
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I want to fly like a squirrel
When just about every major publisher rolled out a game featuring bows at E3 earlier this year, the fad didn't go unnoticed. Many were quick to comment on how in vogue arrow-slinging weaponry has become and for good reason. T...

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EA: Syndicate failed, old IP still to be resurrected


Jun 14
// Jim Sterling
Electronic Arts has admitted that the attempted Syndicate reboot didn't pay off as intended, but that hasn't stopped the publisher from wanting to bring back more old game names. After all, there's still so many things that i...
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Tricky-inspired DLC is coming to SSX next month


Apr 16
// Jordan Devore
During the past week or so, Electronic Arts has been slowly unveiling the first major downloadable content for SSX, piece by piece (literally). Thankfully, most of us missed out on the pre-announcement shenanigans and still g...
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Defying gravity with SSX


Mar 01
// Becca Roberts
The new SSX game focuses on adrenaline-fueled action and jumping from helicopters. So to demonstrate this, EA Sports decided to gather a few unknowing volunteers and throw them off the top of Battersea Power Statio...
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Live show: Mash Tactics gets tricky in SSX


Feb 28
// Bill Zoeker
It's a very special "New Release Showcase" on Mash Tactics today. King Foom has stepped down to allow Chill with Phil host Philanthr0py to play Electronic Arts' new SSX game. Phil has been looking forward to SSX with tremblin...

Review: SSX

Feb 28 // Jordan Devore
SSX (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])Developer: EA CanadaPublisher: EA SportsReleased: February 28, 2012 (NA) / March 2, 2012 (EU)MSRP: $59.99 It isn't so much that past installments were sluggish; rather, SSX frequently moves at breakneck speeds. This occasionally ends up being problematic, but the faster pacing sets the groundwork for some truly spectacular moments. It's also a good fit for the game's environments -- nine real-world mountain ranges -- that were recreated digitally using satellite data from NASA. Since you aren't restricted to indoor courses, you have a ton of room to be totally reckless. The setup for why you're snowboarding across such treacherous terrain is silly, but it gets the job done and serves as a way to bring together the franchise's existing characters. Essentially, Team SSX is in a competition with a rival snowboarder named Griff to clear the nine aforementioned deadly descents for fame and profit. Nine against one seems a little unfair, but you'll be cursing his name before long. This mode, World Tour, serves as a good introduction to what's new in SSX as well as the characters, which you'll gradually unlock. Their over-the-top back-stories are told through animated comics, a storytelling method I'm generally against in games, although like the plot itself, it fits the crazed subject matter fairly well. [embed]222669:42829[/embed] Across the game's three modes, gameplay is broken up into three distinct event types: Race It, Trick It, and Survive It. Returning fans will be familiar with the first two. Whereas Trick It involves performing ludicrous tricks for the sake of earning points, Race It has you pulling off moves to build up your boost. Before I get any further, let me say that Run-D.M.C.'s "It's Tricky" does, in fact, make a glorious return. Oh, and if you despise dubstep, you'll be happy to know that custom playlists are supported. Survive It is brand new for SSX, and it's quite a bit different from anything else. Each of the nine mountains has a specific element of danger to watch out for, such as rock-filled slopes or thin air or overwhelming darkness. One of the descents involves avoiding shade and tunnels to keep your body temperature up, while another plays out like a chase scene as you try to outmaneuver avalanches. You'll need special gear, purchasable alongside boards, outfits, and mods (one-time-use bonuses), to survive these harsh environments. Items are stat-based, some offer perks (e.g., more boost), and there's a ton of them. The wingsuit has got to be my personal favorite, but depending on the level, you don't always have a choice if you want to reach the bottom alive. I appreciate the variety that comes with Survive It, though I must say, a good deal of frustration directly resulted from these missions. The speed of SSX is such that until you have a really good handle on your character's movement and have leveled them up a bit, you're likely going to get annoyed. It's almost as if the game is playing itself, but doing a poor job. What's interesting about this game is that the tricks themselves aren't where the difficulty comes into play. Instead, it's scoring high enough, racing quickly, or merely surviving that's a challenge. In SSX, tricks are ridiculously easy to perform; all you have to do is show a little restraint and let go of the buttons at the last possible second, and chances are good you'll land unharmed. Since your rider sticks to rails, even grinding is laughably easy. Grabs can be done using either the right stick (think Skate, to some extent) or the face buttons. This ends up feeling highly intuitive before long, and I love how you can switch between either option at any time. While EA offers also offers a classic SSX control scheme for series veterans, I found much more success with the new method. Strangely, it ends up being the level design that's punishing, which is odd, because the game is otherwise an exercise in helping the player to look awesome with very little effort required on their end. Though you have the ability to rewind time at the expense of points off your score, falling into a bottomless pit (of which there are far too many on certain levels) is frequently enough to justify a full restart for Race It, assuming you want first place. Having an incredible run only to come off of a ramp at just the wrong angle and shoot into a chasm of death you couldn't see coming is not a good feeling. Memorizing course layouts isn't always sufficient -- again, there's the speed factor, and especially for Survive It, seeing where you're going in and of itself can be challenging. Not to mention the HUD, which has alerts that sometimes block what's directly ahead of you. You do have a helicopter pilot flying above to offer strategic advice, but for me, these instructions sometimes came too late to be useful. Next after World Tour is Explore. In this mode, there are 150 "drops" (you always jump out of a helicopter to start a run) spread across the nine regions of SSX. Some drops overlap, covering many of the same sections of a mountain. They may not all be wholly original, but between the three event types, it's a sizable amount of content to burn through -- especially if you're going for gold medals, or competing with real-world friends asynchronously for additional credits. The most interesting aspect of SSX has to be the final mode, Global Events. This is the game's multiplayer, and it's also where RiderNet -- a set of social and community features modeled after Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit's Autolog -- really shines. As I said earlier, there's a ridiculous amount of equipment to purchase, and it's not cheap. You'll likely earn the bulk of your credits in Global Events. Here, you're competing against the entire online SSX player base in limited-time events. When these expire, huge amounts of credits are dispersed to entrants based on how well they performed. You could almost think of it as an ever-changing leaderboard. If you'd rather play only with your friends, you can initiate a custom Global Event at any drop point and send them an invite. Through RiderNet feeds and recommendations, this should lead to some long-lasting rivalries, despite the lack of "multiplayer" as many have come to know it. Geotags are another interesting element. These are collectible items that you can place in the game for other players to find. You get credits by putting them down, and if no one collects your Geotags, you'll earn greater rewards. With such an emphasis placed on the community aspect of SSX, those without Internet access are really going to miss out. It's worth noting that there is an online pass included with new copies of the game. Credits earned in Global Events are saved, but cannot be spent until you register your pass. If you're going to buy a used copy, know that you can still accumulate plenty of credits across the other two modes. It feels like an eternity since we last had a truly great SSX, which this 2012 installment certainly is. Most of what made the series so enjoyable has either been left untouched or tweaked slightly, so fans should dig what's being offered here. The online functionality in particular stands out as a wonderful addition. I ran into a few issues -- namely the occasionally frustrating level design, which is inconsistent at best -- but there's so much to love that the problematic aspects don't sully an otherwise terrific game. Between character leveling, equipment, hundreds of drops, and rivalries with friends, SSX is going to provide months of entertainment for most of us. It might have been a long wait, but it was well worth it.
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The beloved SSX games of the last generation are still among the extreme sports genre's best, even today. So why has it taken this long for a true return to form? Back when EA's reboot of SSX was first unveiled as SSX: Deadly...

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The DTOID Show: Pokemon, Binary Domain, & SSX gameplay!


Feb 27
// Tara Long
Happy Monday, Destructoiders! It's time for another episode of your favorite, semi-regularly-scheduled internet show about video games. On today's show, Max starts us off with some Pokémon Black and White news, while ...

Preview: SSX is looking totally gnarly

Feb 21 // Becca Roberts
SSX (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [previewed]) Developer: EA Canada Publisher: EA Sports Release: February 28, 2012 (NA) / March 2, 2012 (EU) As a modern reinvention of the SSX series, the focus is on survival in adrenaline-fueled events. The key is to make it through player-versus-the-elements gameplay.  Location is everything in SSX and the sense of realism is really apparent in these new places. By using topographical satellite data from NASA, EA Canada has been able to build a Google Earth-like map that displays the nine different mountain ranges that are available to explore. The aim was to recreate iconic locations like the Himalayas, Antarctica, and the Alps while still keeping a true SSX feel to the gameplay, so the game's mountains aren't exactly GPS-accurate.  So the mountains are semi-realistic, but how about the actual gameplay? Well, any snowboarder will know that there is certainly more than one way down a mountain. While previous SSX games allowed a certain degree of off-piste freedom, there was always an inevitable invisible wall standing in your way. Those pesky walls have been removed as much as possible, allowing unrestricted gameplay in which you decide where to ride. And if you see a branch or a makeshift kicker, you will more than likely be able to do some sick tricks off it. This feature gives a more diverse, open-world feel to the game, as the player is given a greater degree of freedom in deciding which path to take. Obviously the main way is down, but how you get there is up to you! The new gritty style of gameplay comes into focus right from the start of the race. Instead of slowly pushing off from behind a gate, the majority of races in the new SSX begin with a jump out of a helicopter to arrive on the piste at speed. It's a fast-paced action event right from the very beginning. The “Tricky” meter is back, allowing you to build up your boost by pulling off a variety of different freestyle moves and tricks. When the meter is full, fans will be pleased to hear the fun new remix of the Run-D.M.C. song that has become such a big part of the series. The all-new survival element is perhaps one of the most different additions, challenging the player to survive some seriously deadly descents. You will have to face terrifying avalanches, white-outs, darkness, freezing temperatures, and gravity, which requires the awesome wingsuit to help you glide from rock to rock as you choose your path down to safety. These modes add a new challenge to the game and also require fast, skilled action -- especially when dodging through trees and fallen branches, or choosing the best part of the mountain to ride down while under pressure.  The lovable team of riders is back again, as selected by fans of the series, and some new characters are thrown in there too. The ones that made the cut are Elise, Zoe, Kaori, Psymon, Mac, Moby, and the more recently announced Eddie. They’ve all been given a bit of a facelift and have moved away from some of their crazier outfit choices (basically, less nakedness) to more conventional snowboarding gear, which helps to add a more serious tone to the game. As you progress through the game, their gear can be tweaked and upgraded to better suit the conditions of some of the tougher mountain ranges.  Another interesting feature is RiderNet, inspired by the Autolog from the Need For Speed series. It runs alongside you during play and keeps track of your progress. You will be able to see your friends’ times, high scores, different drop positions throughout the race and much more. Having successfully worked in the NFS games, this will add another level of competition to the game, which kinda sucks for me as I was hoping to get some work done in March.  With new features added and nothing taken away from the fun and challenging experience that previous SSX titles have provided, this game looks all set to be a fantastic release full of individuality and experimentation. You really can choose your own path; you've just got to hope it's the right one!
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It’s been a long time in the making, but the time has almost come for EA Sports to grace us with another title in arguably the most successful snowboarding series out there. SSX is known for its addictive arcade-style g...

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EA explains what SSX's online pass will entail


Jan 30
// Jordan Devore
Though the inclusion of an online pass in a game with Electronic Arts' name attached to it does not come as a shock, word that SSX will follow the trend got the usual people riled up. I was prepared to perform the obligatory ...
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Shocker: SSX has an online pass


Jan 30
// Jim Sterling
The new SSX looks pretty damn fantastic, of that there is no denying. Still, Electronic Arts once again doesn't think it's good enough to sell new copies on its own merit, and hopes to force your hand with its favorite skeezy...

Destructoid's most wanted PlayStation 3 games of 2012

Jan 10 // Kyle MacGregor
  The Last Guardian (PlayStation 3) Developer: Team IcoPublisher: Sony Computer EntertainmentRelease: 2012 It wouldn't be a "most anticipated PS3" list without The Last Guardian, right? This game's numerous and lengthy delays -- I've put it on this list for three straight years, now -- haven't reduced my anticipation for it at all. What does have me somewhat worried is the departure from Sony of the project's visionary director, Team Ico's Fumito Ueda; at least he'll finish the game, and at this point, we're still assuming that that'll happen this year.Ueda's previous games, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, stand as singular experiences that Sony made even better with high-definition remasters last year. Check them out, and you'll understand why fans are still waiting with bated breath to see the tale of this boy and his avian-feline friend play out. Journey (PlayStation Network) Developer: thatgamecompanyPublisher: Sony Computer Entertainment Release: Spring 2012 Jenova Chen, Kellee Santiago, and their studio thatgamecompany made a name for themselves with their 2009 PSN title, Flower. It was a fundamentally simple game that nonetheless elicited passionate emotional responses from players, and few (if any) other titles since have matched it in those respects.Journey is the studio's next game. A robed figure traverses a desolate desert and the extant markers of an ancient civilization that lie within: such is the basic premise. I played a segment of that journey in last year's beta; while the arid world evoked a sense of isolation, my interactions with the stone remnants of the land's previous inhabitants brought out a connection with the past that mitigated my loneliness. That's something thatgamecompany and few other developers can do. The Last of Us (PlayStation 3) Developer: Naughty DogPublisher: Sony Computer Entertainment Release: 2012 Thanks to its critically acclaimed Uncharted games, Naughty Dog has earned a reputation for crafting exciting thrill-ride action titles with a story and characters worth caring about. Considering that pedigree, anticipation for the studio's next project would have been high regardless of the subject matter.The Last of Us centers on a man and a teenage girl trying to survive in a world that has been overrun by zombie-like creatures. The word "zombie" might cause some people to dismiss the game out of hand, but remember that very little about Uncharted could be called "original"; instead, Naughty Dog has proven itself adept at taking familiar genre trappings (in Uncharted's case, Indiana Jones-esque pulp action) and tweaking them in service of the story the studio wants to tell. Early word is that the team seeks to explore survival elements and that old serious-story standby, the human condition, in a tale that may evoke comics like The Walking Dead and Y: The Last Man. My body is ready. Honorable mentions: Twisted Metal, Papo & Yo, MLB 12 The Show, Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD     I Am Alive (PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade) Developer: Ubisoft ShanghaiPublisher: UbisoftRelease: Q1 2012 After almost four years of near-silence regarding their forthcoming post-apocalyptic survival title, Ubisoft finally looks like they're ready to release I Am Alive. The game follows a man on a journey to return to his hometown and find his family. Unfortunately for him, he must traverse an urban wasteland, brave the elements, and come toe-to-toe with other survivors who will do anything to stay alive. Finger on the trigger of a pistol, one bullet left in the chamber, a frightened stranger approaches. What do you do? There's nothing more dangerous than an animal backed into a corner, nothing scarier than the dark recesses of the human mind. I'm ever so eager to find myself in these types of situations and make meaningful decisions. I just really, really hope that Ubisoft can capitalize on this title's conceptual potential.  SSX (PlayStation 3, Xbox 360) Developer: EA CanadaPublisher: EA SportsRelease: February 28, 2012 Back during E3 last year, I recall strolling into a dimly lit room for a viewing of EA's forthcoming SSX title. I entered as a casual fan of the series, mildly enthused for another extreme snowboard romp, but left among the converted. Just imagine opening up Google Earth, simply zooming in on any given mountain range and dropping in on a slope for an exhilarating run to the bottom. The team at EA Canada has borrowed intricate satellite data from NASA to virtually recreate entire mountain ranges and let players drop in on some of the most iconic peaks on the planet. Outside of the traditional races and score attack modes, SSX features "boss battles" where players travel to some of the most dangerous peaks on the planet and brave the elements that make them so deadly. During the demonstration, the developers showed off a stage featuring a dynamic avalanche where the speed and direction at which the player hits the angle of repose triggers a unique deluge that the player must outrun to stay alive. Even now months later I'm enthralled by the possibilities of what else EA Canada has in store. February 28 cannot come soon enough.  Far Cry 3 (PlayStation 3, PC, Xbox 360) Developer: Ubisoft MontrealPublisher: UbisoftRelease: 2012 I could probably talk about Far Cry 2 all day. Despite all its failures and unrealized ambitions, its design supported player agency and offered nonlinear gameplay in ways that few games even dare to try, much less realize with a modicum of success. Allowing the player to approach a situation from any standpoint with any strategy and essentially design their own experience in such a vivid and immersive game world made Far Cry 2 an exciting step forward for the medium.  Far Cry 3 returns the series to the tropical setting of an island chain in the South Pacific. The story follows Jason Brody, a tourist who has been caught up in a violent civil conflict and must employ his survivalist resourcefulness to escape with his life. Should Ubisoft capitalize on the strengths of the existing formula and do away with the frustrations, Far Cry 3 could not only be be an incredibly captivating title, but one that continues to pioneer where its predecessor left off. Honorable mentions: Metro Last Light, Zone of the Enders HD Collection Additional Staff Picks for PlayStation 3:  Chad Concelmo: Final Fantasy XIII-2, Journey, The Last of UsSean Daisy: Inversion, Journey, The Last GuardianAndrew Kauz: BioShock Infinite, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Tales of Graces fJonathan Holmes: The Last Guardian, Lollipop Chainsaw, Persona 4: Ultimate Mayonaka ArenaTara Long: Journey, The Last of UsAllistair Pinsof: Dust 514, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White WitchJonathan Ross: The Last GuardianMaurice Tan: Journey, The Last of UsMax Scoville: Journey, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White WitchJosh Tolentino: Dust 514, Journey, The Last of Us 
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The past year has been an interesting one for Sony. The PlayStation 3 finally began to hit its stride, a new portable finally emerged, and an "unauthorized intrusion" resulted in a month-long network outage. That major p...

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SSX sees slight delay to late February in North America


Dec 21
// Jordan Devore
"Over the course of more than 10 years of making games I have not worked on a single project where our team did not wish, coming down the home stretch, that we could have just a bit more time," writes SSX creative director ...
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EA developing music-mixing 'Harmony' tool, debuts in SSX


Oct 31
// Samit Sarkar
One of my favorite facets of SSX Tricky was its fusion of audio and gameplay. The game would mute its thumping house/hip-hop soundtrack as you soared off a ramp, leaving only the sound of the air whistling past your rider unt...
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SSX slides to February 14 launch, reveals Deadly Descents


Oct 31
// Samit Sarkar
EA recently released a "Survive It" trailer for its upcoming SSX game. The new video ends with the news that the title's launch has been pushed back slightly -- it was originally set to release in January 2012, but will now ...
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Latest SSX trailer brings the hype


Sep 30
// Jordan Devore
While it seems most people have come back around to SSX after a questionable start, anyone still not feeling this modern take on the series ought to give this new trailer a chance. Prior videos have also shown that this game...
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SSX: It was playable at PAX and it's fun!


Aug 29
// Brett Zeidler
EA brought with them a playable demo of SSX to PAX and Samit Sarkar and Tara Long were there to get their hands-on time with it. They talk about the evolution the title has gone through, contrast and compare the gameplay fro...
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Score big at PAX for sweet SSX snowboard USB stick


Aug 26
// Nick Chester
If you're at PAX Prime this weekend and you've got reservations about the new SSX, let Electronic Arts ease your mind. A portion of the game's vast mountain ranges is playable at the event in Seattle this week. Do well enough...
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Zoe gets (not really) animated for SSX comic clip


Aug 24
// Nick Chester
Motion comics. Gotta love 'em. They're not really comics and they're not really animated shorts, they're just... whatever this is. It's like the budget was a little over that of what it would cost to create a comic book, but...
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EA talks 'evolution' of SSX franchise at gamescom


Aug 21
// Daniel Carneiro
Good news, everyone! SSX is fantastic... well at least the pre-alpha demo we were able to play was. All concerns about the game being "Call of Dutified" can be put to rest once and for all. The controls are spot on and the v...
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SSX Gamescom trailer sizzles up the snow


Aug 18
// Liam Fisher
EA has found a great deal of success in its Autolog feature. So much, in fact, that it's implementing that same function into pretty much all of its other games. In it's upcoming SSX reboot, the autolog looks to be in full s...
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Gamescom trailer for SSX shows ghosts, global events


Aug 16
// Jordan Devore
While I'll be the first to admit that Electronic Arts had me at "snowboarding game," SSX is shaping up quite nicely. In this gamescom trailer, we're told about a few new features. As has been the case with pretty much every ...
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Latest SSX screenshots are all about Psymon


Jul 28
// Jordan Devore
The new screenshots for SSX show Psymon's updated look for 2012. This larger-than-life character has been toned down a bit, but to me, his absurdity always truly stemmed from the random things he spouted off. I greatly look f...
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'Unique' online mode for SSX to be unveiled at gamescom


Jul 11
// Jordan Devore
Electronic Arts has been fairly quiet over SSX when it comes to online play, and even multiplayer in general. Next month during gamescom, we'll hear about a new online mode for the snowboarding game. This factoid comes to us ...

E3: SSX appears to be well and truly back

Jun 08 // Conrad Zimmerman
To create the mountains of SSX, EA created a software program called Mountain Man and topographical satellite data from NASA. Using these tools, they're capable of fully rendering the true topography of a mountain in a mere 28 seconds. That's just the beginning, however. "We're not using all of this NASA data to create a simulation," says Creative Director Todd Batty. "If we wanted to make a simulation, we would have been done by now. We wanted to make Burnout on snow."  No, the real work begins after this intial rendering as the designers carve the character of SSX into the environment, tweaking our real world to offer the exaggerated snowboarding experience the series is known for. Clearly mad with power, the level designers are pulling out all the stops with hundreds of possible routes down each mountain and the freedom to explore and tackle every slope however you want. EA impressed upon the idea that if you can see it in the environment, they want you to be able to performa  trick on it. Every bump is a ramp and every sharp edge is a grind. With all of the possibilities, navigation of this content was a concern. Inspired by Google Earth, stage selection begins with a view of the entire globe where you choose which mountain range you want to explore. Every range on Earth is represented and from there you can select an individual mountain and drop point. The three types of gameplay comprising SSX are casually referred to as, "Race It," "Trick It," and "Survive It," and we were shown three examples to illustrate what those terms mean. The "Race It" stage, which is exactly what it sounds like, was the legendary Kilimanjaro. The designers took the famous crater at the top of the Kibo peak and did the most ridiculous thing imaginable by creating a track through it. For the "Trick It" sequence, which challenges players to perform as many massive tricks as possible, we were shown a route on Makalu in the Himilayan range, built on the Great Wall of China. Do you think there were grinds? You bet your ass there were, with long beautiful stretches to chain together some serious tricks. The "Survive It" segment was set on Mount Denali and this gameplay mode requires a bit of explanation. When you've completed a set of race and trick runs on a mountain, you'll then tackle a "Deadly Descent," the SSX equivalent of a boss fight against the mountain itself. The goal is to make it down the mountain from top to bottom without being swallowed by it. Every snow bank and slope is assigned an impact rating, which is compared to the amount of impact created whenever you land. If your impact exceeds the rating, you'll start a snow drift which begins to chase you. As you continue to exceed impact ratings, this drift increases and soon grows without your help as the weight and movement has its own effect on impact ratings further down the slope. It's thrilling and difficult, so much so that the representative from EA playing the game had yet to complete it once during the course of the day's demonstrations. EA also showed off a few other features, including a wind suit that will enable players to glide through the air and access new areas of the environments or just be awesome. You also have a loyal chopper pilot, who not only drops you off at the top of a run and picks you up again at the end, but can also light your way, act as a guide and occasionally provide trick opportunities by allowing you to grab on to the skids and hold before dropping back down on to the mountain. In designing the controls, the team has chosen to offer two options. Old-school button mashers like myself will feel right at home in using the four face buttons to perform tricks. If you're more comfortable with pulling your moves with an analog stick a la Skate, that will be available as well with both schemes active at all times. I tried both and didn't see an advantage to using one over the other, though Batty suggested that the analog would offer more fine control over your moves. I came away incredibly impressed by what I saw of SSX and it's still early. At three months away from alpha status, Todd Batty expressed some level of amazement that EA was willing to show the game at E3 at all, stating that they tend to hold back on releases still at the progress level of this one. I'm glad they did and I'm fairly certain they will be as well. SSX feels exuberant in the hands, is visually gorgeous and almost certainly the return to form fans have long cried out for.
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It's been quite some time since a game worthy of the name SSX hit the market. The series had already been in a bit of a slump before the ghastly SSX Blur, a game poor enough EA didn't even acknowledge it during their behind-c...

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E3: PS3 gets SSX, Need for Speed, Battlefield exclusives


Jun 06
// Jordan Devore
Look at Sony, taking a page straight out of Microsoft's book. A partnership with Electronics Arts means PlayStation 3 owners are getting a few nice exclusives, as discussed today during Sony's press conference. SSX will have ...
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SSX trailer reintroduces us to Mac


Jun 03
// Jordan Devore
It sure does feel good to see those striped ramps again. It's been too long. Here's the latest trailer for SSX, with the focus this time set on Mac. Fairly standard choice, as far as returning characters go. We're still look...
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Spike to live stream EA's E3 event


May 25
// Dale North
Good! That means that I don't have to go and report on it. You can just watch it yourself. I've got enough stuff to do that week. The Orpheum Theater is L.A. is lovely, but it's always a bitch to get out there and leave E3. N...






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